Italy court acquits former Seat Pagine Gialle board members, auditors


MILAN, June 18 (Reuters) – An Italian court on Thursday acquitted 15 former board members and internal auditors of directories firm Seat Pagine Gialle in a trial over allegations of fraudulent bankruptcy, according to a lawyer representing two of the defendants.

The people were charged in connection with a 3.5 billion euro ($3.9 billion) special dividend that Seat Pagine Gialle paid in 2004, increasing its debt to 4 billion euros at the end of that year.

The company, which was bought by BC Partners, CVC, Investitori Associati and Permira in 2003, never managed to shake off the burden of that indebtedness. It was eventually placed under a court restructuring, similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, in 2013, before being taken over in 2015 by Italiaonline, an Internet company controlled by Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris.

The verdict was read in a court in Turin, and confirmed by the lawyer.

$1 = 0.8919 euros Reporting by Elisa Anzolin, Emilio Parodi; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

By Elisa Anzolin